The grilled meat in minced or small bites with the zing of spices added is the mainstay of any meal. Kebabs are a very popular and preferred accompaniment with drinks and as starters to any gathering. They can be a very convenient finger food option.
The difference between a great kebab and an okay one often comes down to the marinade. Since there are so many meats that are good to use for kebabs, look to the marinade to define the flavor and add some creativity. Contrary to popular belief, marinades don’t really penetrate the meat, so there’s often no need to marinate overnight (unlike what many kebab recipes require).
The exception to that is an acidic marinade. Acids like lemon juice or vinegar will “cook” meats, so the longer they marinate, the more they cook and result in a dry and mushy texture once grilled. For heavily acidic marinades, make sure not to go over four or five hours marinating time to avoid those downsides.
There are probably many more to choose from, but the vegetables and fruits we regularly turn to for kebabs are bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, onions, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, pineapple, mango, and peaches.
You can branch out to include items that require more time to cook than the meat by partially cooking them before skewering. We’ve done new potatoes and corn this way, boiling them first before skewering and grilling, so they just needed to develop some char when brought to the flames.
No matter the vegetable or fruit, they should all be cut to around the same size as the meat to ensure even cooking.
For skewering, you have two primary options —metal or wood. For metal skewers, you don’t need anything fancy, just sturdy stainless steel.
It’s best for the skewers to be flat instead of round to keep the foods in place — meat and veggies are prone to unwanted rotating when on round skewers. Go with skewers that are about 12 inches long, which is both a manageable length to work with, and a nice individual portion size as well.
Kebabs are all about convenience, and washing thirty to forty skewers after a big cookout is not how you want to spend your time. So, if you are entertaining, why not choose the wooden variety, which are made out of bamboo, inexpensive, and easy to find.